November 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm EDT | by Jonathan Howard
Luck of the draw
dining, Drafting Table, Washington Blade, gay news

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Ever since Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections (ACKC) closed on 14th Street this year I’ve been peeking in the windows of the space to see what may be happening there. A couple of months ago a visible transformation began occurring and The Drafting Table (1529C 14th Street) was slowly revealed to the Logan Circle neighborhood.

Originally, The Drafting Table was supposed to be named Woody Creek, the name proposed by the winner of a Going Out Guide poll and agreed upon by owner Aaron Gordon. However, Gordon’s primary designer, Andrew Christenberry stumbled upon mid-20th century drafting tables while searching for furniture for the space and the theme was completely overhauled. Now the space is full of sleek warm wooden drafting tables and chairs and the theme trickles all the way down to the menus, which are printed on drafting paper. One of the most dramatic elements is the six foot handcrafted wooden architecture compass mounted to the wall that Gordon says was, “completely his [Christenberry’s] idea. He thought of it, he built it by hand and it complements the space perfectly.”

My introduction to the atmosphere and food of The Drafting Table was at its media event on Oct. 16. We were assigned tables with platters full of food featuring their pickled veggies with “Greek green goddess” dressing and their chacuterie plate.

We then had time to mingle with other food writers (in between taking photos of the food) and sample beers from their in-depth list. As we were seated, a very interesting dish was presented to us — the Kaya Toast, which many of my fellow writers had already been talking about. It has the makings of a signature dish for this neighborhood gastro pub with its thick and crusty toast, rich sweet coconut jam and creamy egg cooked sunny side up and served on a plate with soy broth that introduces saltiness to the mix. Make sure to mix it all together in order to experience the full range of flavors. This is definitely a “don’t-knock-it-‘til-you’ve-tried-it” dish.

Following the appetizers we were offered our choice of the draftsman burger, the herb roasted chicken or the falafel. All of us at the table made sure that the three dishes would be represented and we passed them around so we could try them. The plates put together by head chef, Ciji Wagner, were strong and well balanced. Then it was time for dessert and chocolate puddin’, grilled pound cake and homemade Snickers pie all made their way to the table. The chocolate puddin’ was the strongest of these three, but that may just be the comfort factor talking, since it reminded me of a Jell-O Puddin’ Pop.

I left the media dinner satisfied, but wondering what a non-media event would be like at The Drafting Table, so a few days later I returned for brunch with my husband. The brunch was much more laid back with tables full of people relaxing instead of rushing. The wait staff also moved at a more relaxed pace.

I was disappointed to see no unlimited mimosa on the brunch menu, but the rest of the menu seemed to offer typical brunch fare. The “sexy breakfast sandwich” caught my eye and Greg chose the French toast with apple compote, which he described as “good, just not great.” I was blown away by my breakfast sandwich, which turned out to me more messy than sexy, but tasty nonetheless. The sunny side up eggs were flavored by the herb aioli and warmed by a healthy portion of roasted red peppers, then some prosciutto was piled on top and I was in heaven.

As Gordon said, “People love something new in the neighborhood and they seem to be enjoying ‘The Drafting Table’ as their new neighborhood pub.” The Drafting Table is an excellent addition to Logan Circle offering an eclectic mix of pub food and beers. This is one of the first (of many) welcome additions soon coming to the 14th Street corridor for lunch, dinner, snacks and brunch.

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